Five men are lucky to be alive after spending five days adrift in the Pacific Ocean aboard their 14-foot aluminum skiff with little supplies.
The men were rescued Sunday by the crew of the Panama-flagged bulk carrier MV Shourong Harmony after a U.S. Coast Guard air crew spotted the boat 184 miles east northeast of Teraina Island, Kiribati, located in the Central Pacific more than 1,300 miles from Hawaii.
The men were first reported missing to the Coast Guard last Wednesday afternoon after they didn’t returned from a fishing trip off Kiribati in a skiff with no engines, little provisions and no lifesaving equipment.
The Coast Guard search and rescue turned up empty until Friday when a Coast Guard air crew from Barbers Point spotted the men and dropped food, water, two VHF radios, a Personal Location Beacon (PLB), a signal mirror and flares to the skiff.
The AMVER-participating vessel Shourong Harmony was sent to assist and at 1:50 p.m., Sunday, the missing men were successfully rescued by the crew of the bulk carrier. Shourong Harmony is now scheduled to rendevous with another vessel which will take the men back Kiribati.
The distance from Honolulu to where the men were rescued is about 1,087 miles, the Coast Guard said.
Sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, AMVER is a computer-based and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange and coordinate the rescue of people in distress at sea.